Populations in the Flor de Pancasán area of Nicaragua’s Matiguás municipality experience low crop yields as a result of limited economic resources and technical knowledge, use of inefficient farming and livestock systems, fluctuating weather conditions and deteriorating soil quality. While many women are members of cooperatives, their structures do not address the limitations women face in receiving cooperative services as fewer women own land and have access to credit. Additionally, men make the majority of household resource decisions.
With the support from Foods Resource Bank (FRB), LWR and ADDAC are contributing to improved food security though increased agricultural productivity , diversification of crops for sale, enhanced cooperative capacity to provide improved marketing and credit services to farmers, and promotion of greater information sharing at the household level and in farm management, between men and women.
Challenges & Gender-Based Constraints
Low Crop Yields
- Inefficient farming and livestock systems
- Lack of economic resources and technological knowledge
- Deterioration of the soil quality and loss of land fertility
- Lack of diversification
Weak Cooperative Structures
- High levels of dependence on external actors
- Weak linkages between community organizations and political structures
- Poor sales strategies and market linkages
- While 45 percent of cooperative members are women, only 30 percent have access to credit and 10 percent own land.
Inequality in Household Decision-Making on Resources
- Men typically control access to and use of household resources, and business interests
- Increase productivity of marketed crops—such as coffee , cocoa , corn and beans—for men and women farmers.
- Introduce participating farmers to new crops to diversify the household food supply.
- Expand the number of income sources for men and women cooperative members by diversifying agricultural production.
- Strengthen the cooperative’s administrative and business capacity.
- Establish strategies for improved training of men and women cooperative members on equitable management of household economic resources.
Key Project Activities
- Training in coffee and cocoa crop management and diversification of agricultural and livestock production
- Provision of materials, tools, and agricultural and livestock equipment
- Construction of water collection and irrigation systems
- Training in administrative and organizational development, and creation of the cooperative’s gender policy
- Workshops on business development, targeting women
- Training on gender roles within agriculture, and discussions around division of household labor